I was sitting in a meeting and writing out the notes for the conclusion of this story - the end where God had brought me to. I was beginning to get back my sense of wholeness and peace, feeling like a buoy beginning to right itself after a storm, but still with lingering hurt over some of the things people had said or done. Then God stepped in with His epilogue. Right when I least expected it.
But in order to tell you about God's epilogue, I need to back up a little bit to the events from the "Here We Go Again" post until the weekend that I sat in that meeting.
A coworker had ended up in trouble. Similar in nature to my husband, his life was at risk. We heard, and we immediately came over to be with his wife. We phoned the prayer chain teams still in practice after my husband's crisis, and then we gathered our kids and headed to her house. We were the first to arrive. We hugged her, made tea, and tried to talk carefully - aware that there were many small children with us. Hers were watching their mother to see if they should copy fear or faith and ours who had just recently been through it themselves. After a short while, the kids all headed to an outdoor covered area to play cards. Then we sat down with her and listened to the story - what we knew at that point.
It was then that another couple arrived. We stayed about an hour and then my husband was speaking in church that evening, so we had to go. We left our two oldest because the distraction was good for their kids. First we quietly called our kids to us and told them the situation. They were to be there to help their friends and their auntie by playing, but not being demanding. They understood. Their eyes widened, their laughter quieted; then they took a deep breath and agreed. I trusted them to be helpers, and we left with her toddler and our youngest ones.
Quickly before church started, my husband briefed the church and asked for prayer. Then the service began. At the end, we left immediately and picked up some food on our way back to her house. To our surprise, she was alone again. The other team members had left, she said, right after we did. She had been left alone again.
We ate together, and gathered our kids. I told her I had to go home to quickly get my kid's outfits laid out since they had a dress up day at school, and then I would be back. I also wanted to get my computer and headphones so I would be ready to go to work on his behalf if it was needed.
I returned just as fast as I could, and sat with her through the night. Together, we watched for news. Together we sat as her husband phoned to say goodbye before he left a place he was to attempt to get to where he could leave where he was. Together we sat and watched the clock. About 1 AM, we received one call. We should have received another in about an hour, but no call came. We didn't know if that meant trouble or only phone trouble - the phone had not been working well.
Around 2 AM, she went to bed. I lay on a blanket on the floor with my computer with me - still watching. My husband skyped me and we both lay beside our computers waiting for a message, a call, any word. Either he had made it safely to his flight at this point and we wouldn't be hearing anything for several hours or he hadn't made it safely through and we wouldn't hear for.....?
So we waited.
Twice in the night, my friend stirred, and I crept up to her room to see if she needed someone with her, but she slept on. I lay quietly. Finally, around 4 AM, I dozed fitfully for two hours, waking often to check for news.
By six, we were up to silence. No word yet. Together we drank tea and waited. We got the kids ready for school and waited. The call should have come hours ago if he had made it safely out, but there was only crackling tension and more silence. An hour later, a skype message came through third hand that he was safe but that his phone was not working. The tension broke, and we hugged each other, cried, and thanked God.
Still, his wife needed to talk to him - to hear his voice.. So I took her kids to school. When I returned, she was finally on that long awaited call! I called out a hello to him and let them talk. Then I spent the day helping her with something I had already promised beforehand.
That afternoon, we met as a team again and I watched as people made plans for his first day and as his wife feebly protested that he might be tired and need one day alone to rest. I am much more vocal when defending others as I am at defending myself, so I backed her up and forcibly said that people could wait one day. He was arriving in the late afternoon, and people could wait until the next morning!
On the way home, I told his wife that in the next few days, her job was to care for her husband. That was her priority and she shouldn't feel bad to tell people no - and we would back her up.
Later, I learned she had done that, and I was proud of her! The very person who incessantly called us initially, she firmly told that her husband was in the shower and unavailable that night. He waited until morning to call them back. Atta girl!